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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reaching Critical Mass

I've been participating in a fascinating and surprisingly civil debate over Anthropic Global Warming (man-made global warming) over on the Banjo Hangout. You'd be appalled at how many smart people play banjos. I want to complement the participants on keeping it civil if not entirely apolitical. Nobody changed their minds among the debaters, but perhaps some folks on the fence were able to understand the issues a little better before they went back to practicing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown".

This is one issue where I think we folk are going to have to agree to disagree until all the evidence is in. Some have said that because the 70's era hysteria over global cooling has been discredited that we should automatically discount the turn of the millennium hysteria over global warming. I don't think that's very wise. After all, the scientists might be right this time - or they might be wrong. I just think we have to wait till all the data is in before we wreck the world's economy in the name of "saving the planet".

As someone points out in the new Keaneau Reeves movie, we can't save the planet. The planet will still be here, we can only save ourselves. How we do that is problematic. There's a lot of factors that go into keeping humans alive. Things like:

1. Food
2. Water
3. Shelter
4. Oxygen
5. Protection from nasty radiation coming at us from the sun
6. Nasty things that fall from the skies
7. Nasty things that will kill us here on Earth (disease, toxins and evil power mad murdering despots)
8. A stable economic system and effective trade between groups of people
9. A self-renewing ecosystem
10.Sufficient numbers of us to renew the population indefinitely without overtaxing the previous 9 factors.

If we could focus on addressing these factors, I believe we could get beyond the politics and actually make a decent world for us to live on. We have one already - the best within light years of here. The challenge is to come together on what's important and quit worrying so much about who's ideology is correct.

Everybody do their bit to clean up after themselves, protect each other's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and stop trying to be the big powerful kahuna all the time and life on this planet would be a lot nicer.

But, somebody said once that that's pretty much what would happen inevitably - that the meek would inherit the Earth. Those meek folks, He said, would be folks that lived by pretty much one simple rule - "Treat others the way you would want to be treated."

I have faith that that is precisely what will happen. I believe that evil will inevitably destroy itself at some point.

So it comes down to each of us doing his or her bit to be a decent, honorable person. A famous picket sign in the 60's proclaimed, "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came". Well, suppose they gave an unjust order and nobody paid attention. Suppose they wrote an unjust law and nobody obeyed it. Suppose they proclaimed themselves our leaders and nobody followed them. Suppose good people simply stopped doing what bad people told them to.

Just need a critical mass of good people, that's all.

Just one man's opionion,



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